PUPPETRY IN EDUCATION AND THERAPY
Since the founding of Puppeteers of America the organization has demonstrated a deep commitment to puppetry in education. Dr Marjorie Batchelder McPharlin, who served as president of PofA, began teaching puppetry at Ohio State University in 1935. Through its publications, festival workshops, consultants, and committees PofA shares information and encourages puppetry in education.
Puppetry is an excellent tool for communication. We, as puppeteers, educators, and therapists can present concepts and facts, stories and feelings in diverse settings including; classrooms- from pre-school to high school, day care centers, libraries, hospitals, camps, museums, colleges, community centers, churches and senior centers.
We can make puppetry accessible to children, teens and adults and help them develop the skills and experience to express their own feelings and ideas, We can encourage anyone who picks up a puppet to bring an “animated object’ to life to have fun, convey information or to express feelings.
When puppets are used by a trained therapist or councilor the goal is to create a safe space for the client to express and discuss sensitive topics communicating to and/or through the puppet. The healing potential of puppets is literally at one’s fingertips.
A Professional Day for the Teaching Artist and Therapist workshop is offered within every National Puppetry Festival. Click here to find out about the 2017 Professional Day.
MARJORIE BATCHELDER MCPHARLIN AWARD
This is an award to honor those who dedicate their time to helping others to create in the field of puppetry. The award should be given biennially at each National Festival when a qualified recipient can be identified.
Past and present members of PofA currently working in their area of puppet expertise in an educational setting shall be eligible for this award. Nominees shall have worked for a period of at least five years, dedicating their time to helping others to create in the field of puppetry. The work of candidates for this award can be as teacher, librarian, puppeteer in residence, puppeteer in teacher training, recreational professional, or therapist in clinical or instructional settings. Nominees should exhibit the ability to inspire others with their personal skill or knowledge of puppetry as well as the ability to transmit that skill or knowledge to others.
The nominee shall have demonstrated an ability to reach others on a personal level, thereby allowing them to become expressive themselves through the art of puppetry. The nominee shall have received recognition from his/her community, places of employment, and/or peers. The award should be given to a person who has contributed to the field of puppetry education over a considerable period of time. The award is not intended to recognize a single piece of work or project. Nominations should be supported by materials that document the excellence of the work of the nominee.
Materials supporting a nomination should include articles by and about the candidate; copies of awards, citations, etc which can help to document the expertise and abilities of the nominee. Books, photos, videos or other materials that demonstrate the nominee has received recognition from his/her community, place of employment, and/or peers may be included.
Any member of PofA may submit nominations for this award.
Past recipients of awards can be viewed here.